"Feelings have not been given the credit they deserve as motives, monitors and negotiators of human cultures."
- The Strange Order of Things
The Strange Order of Things
To be published in the US on February 6, 2018.
"In The Strange Order of Things, Antonio Damasio presents a new vision of what it means to be human. For too long we have thought of ourselves as rational minds inhabiting insentient mechanical bodies. Breaking with this philosophy, Damasio shows how our minds are rooted in feeling, a creation of our nervous system with an evolutionary history going back to ancient unicellular life that enables us to shape distinctively human cultures. Working out what this implies for the arts, the sciences and the human future, Damasio has given us that rarest of things, a book that can transform how we think-- and feel--about ourselves."
Emeritus Professor, London School of Economics
"The Strange Order of Things" is a foundational book. It provides the concepts, the language, and the knowledge to explain in an integrated framework the interplay between Nature and Culture at the heart of the human condition. Damasio unveils the codes and protocols that make humans human. After a long period of fragmentation of science, he ushers in a paradigm that reunites scientific knowledge, beyond the diversity of its fields of inquiry, around the study of the networks of the mind in communication with the networks of its biological and social existence. This is the beginning of a new scientific revolution".
L'Ordre Étrange Des Choses
Reviews for the French Translation:
LE MONDE, 12.1.2017
"In Damasio's thinking, to live consists of projecting yourself into life, shunning vulnerability and death, powered by a foundational force that he names homeostasis, a concept that the Strange Order of Things perfects and amplifies."
"Damasio's books are marvels of scientific effervescence, of conceptual invention, and in the end, of modesty, of that sense of the limits of knowledge that only knowledge is capable of imposing."
"Damasio analyses the continuities and the difference between natural life and human cultures, considered in the artistic, political, ethical and medical dimension. In this effort the borders of the human do not disappear but are instead shifted, made moveable. And a result, his exploration of life's surprises becomes a stimulating and exhilarating exercise in redefining humanity itself.
"Here is a new, strange and unassailable definition of life."
LE FIGARO, 11.23.2017
“[Damasio] has introduced something baroque in a science that has been centered in one single organ, the brain. The Strange Order of things vibrates with a baroque sensibility. The word baroque has a Portuguese origin and signifies “irregular pearl”. Human intelligence and its products are irregular pearls and not perfect algorithms.”
“The Strange Order of Things is a biological interpretation of human phenomena, complex human societies included. The book expands on a proposal Damasio made following his first discoveries in the eighties: the brain is only a part of a whole and that whole is the body. Together body and brain engender feelings.”
“Feelings are sentinels for life’s fragility, for the body’s mortality. This is how Damasio installs homeostasis at the origin of all human endeavors. We can not attain any goal without the desire to attain it, in short, without desire itself.”
LES ECHOS, 12.4.2017
“Feelings are agents of homeostasis, the powerful principle behind the regulation of life. The human saga, in the strict sense, owes a lot to a highly developed cerebral cortex, but the essentials of that saga had been germinating long before.”
“Ever since his first book, Damasio has not wavered in his efforts to rehabilitate emotions and feelings within cognitive processes. In Strange Order of Things he nails down the effort and goes well beyond.”
SLATE (France), 11.17.2017
“The Strange Order of Things bridges two contradictory readings of the elaboration of culture and human behaviors: autonomous cultural phenomena versus the consequences of natural selection conveyed by genes. For Damasio there is no need to choose between them. Damasio also refuses to reduce cultural phenomena to their biological origin, or to explain the ensemble of cultural phenomena in pure scientific terms.”